Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) announced this morning that it has connected to CENX, the Carrier Ethernet exchange started by Nan Chen of the Metro Ethernet Forum and opened for business in November. The connection will allow Level 3 to service more customers more quickly than before, assuming of course that the exchange gains critical mass amongst network providers. It was just a week ago that it was Verizon (NYSE:VZ, news, filings) Business joining CENX to extend its own Ethernet reach. Given the attention from both next generation and traditional carriers, it seems clear that the concept of an Ethernet exchange does have legs. It's a story that we'll no doubt see develop throughout the year.
For its part, Level 3 has also signed on to participate in Equinix's similar initiative. That suggests the company is looking at this as more than a trial. They just want to sell more Ethernet services, and they'll work with anyone willing to be a part of that. I get the strong sense that Level 3 is revving its engines for 2010, hiring salespeople and preparing a much needed revival of revenue growth. Hopefully this time they'll have the traction necessary to actually move the vehicle. We'll learn more in a couple weeks when they report earnings.
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